Bertie Ahern

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Ahern, Bertie

(Bartholomew Patrick Ahern) (əhûrn`), 1951–, Irish politician, prime minister of the Republic of Ireland (1997–2008). Born into a working-class family, he studied accounting at University College, Dublin. A member of Fianna FáilFianna Fáil
, Irish political party, organized in 1926 by opponents of the Anglo-Irish treaty of 1921 establishing the Irish Free State and setting up Northern Ireland as part of the United Kingdom.
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, he entered the Irish parliament in 1977 and held a number of parliamentary offices. From 1986 to 1987 he was lord mayor of Dublin. Returning to national government, he served as labor minister (1987–91) and finance minister (1991–94).

Ahern became head of Fianna Fáil in 1994 and was leader of the opposition until 1997, when he succeeded John BrutonBruton, John
, 1947–, Irish politician, b. Dublin. A lawyer and farm owner, he is a member of the centrist Fine Gael party. Bruton was first elected to the Irish parliament in 1969 and during the 1970s served as a junior minister.
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 as prime minister, heading a Fianna Fáil–Progressive Democrat coalition. He helped to broker a cease-fire by the Irish Republican Army, and in 1998 he and others (including Britain's Tony BlairBlair, Tony
(Anthony Charles Lynton Blair), 1953–, British politician, b. Edinburgh. An Oxford-educated lawyer, he was first elected to Parliament in 1983 as the Labour party candidate from a district in N England.
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 and America's George MitchellMitchell, George John,
1933–, U.S. public official, b. Waterville, Maine. An attorney in private and government practice in the 1960s and 1970s, he was a protege of Senator Edmund Muskie.
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) brokered a peace agreement in Northern Ireland. Ahern also increased the republic's influence in Northern Ireland. His government was returned to office in the 2002 and 2007 elections, but as a three-party coalition with the addition of the Green Party after the 2007 vote.

Revelations that Ahern had received secret cash payments from businessmen in the early 1990s led to an investigation that revealed additional payments, and in 2008, with the controversy over the payments undermining his authority, Ahern resigned as prime minister and party leader. He was succeeded in the posts by Deputy Prime Minister Brian CowenCowen, Brian,
1960– Irish political leader, prime minister of the Repubic of Ireland (2008–11). A lawyer from a family long involved in Fianna Fáil politics, he was first elected to the Irish parliament in 1984, winning his late father's seat.
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. The 2012 report by the investigation accused Ahern of lying under oath and his government of attempting to undermine investigation, but it also found that there was no evidence that Ahern did political favors in return for the payments.


See biography by K. Whelan and E. Masterson (1999).

References in periodicals archive ?
Baltimore Technologies helped make e-commerce history when its digital signature system was used by US President Bill Clinton and Ireland Prime Minister Bertie Ahern to execute the first digitally signed state document between governments.
But Bertie Ahern has kept a deliberately low profile since his unexpected resignation.
And being thick-skinned she said she didn't care what others thought of her - but said she'd be "disturbed if Bertie Ahern thought I was a great politician".
Bertie Ahern was no more "a man of the people" than Anglo Irish's Seanie FitzPatrick.
This country still needs Bertie Ahern - but today The Irish People believes Mr Ahern could do even greater things for each and every one of us by becoming the President of the EU's executive Commission.
But there's no question that Bertie Ahern was the man who helped guide it to becoming the economic role model envied by the entire planet.
In a time when Bertie Ahern and Charlie McCreevy are encouraging everyone to tighten their belts, does this mean that Government handlers are excluded from such advice?
BERTIE Ahern will not be contesting the Presidential election for Fianna Fail, party leader Micheal Martin said yesterday.
EMBATTLED Bertie Ahern suffered a new blow yesterday after one of his staunchest supporters revealed he treated public Fianna Fail funds like it was his own cash.
THERE'S something seriously wrong at the very heart of the Government and Taoiseach Bertie Ahern needs to do something about it - and quickly.
BERTIE Ahern has slammed Brian Cowen's poor communication and his handling of the economic crisis.
BERTIE Ahern made Northern First Minister Ian Paisley feel at home in Dublin yesterday - by wearing a RED, WHITE and BLUE tie.